During her ISP research period, Sian Evans, PhD candidate at London Consortium, Birkbeck College, University of London, developed a programme of talks by three food specialists examining the ways in which we interact with food, aiming to highlight our current relationship to food, in a time of globalisation, McDonaldization, and the controversial claim of the ‘death of the meal'. The talks were followed by an evening of film on food devised by curator Jayne Bradley.
Consuming Passions - Event Programme
20 February 2007, 1-5pm at VIVID
Food is much more than mere sustenance and biological need. The plethora of television and radio food programmes, the Observer Food Monthly, the Slow Food Movement, organic and ethically produced food, the popularity of farmers' markets and restaurants are indicative of a burgeoning concern over food.
Evans introduced the evening, putting into context this increasing interest in food. She looked at artists literally using food and ‘the meal' scenario to restore a sense of community, identity, social exchange and even utopia in a fast paced urban existence.
Speakers included Elizabeth Telfer, Richard Gough and Dr. Martin Caraher.
Food Film Club
20 February 2007, 6pm onwards at Rooty Fruitys at The Custard Factory
To complement Consuming Passions Jayne Bradley, freelance curator, selected a programme of films including Peter Greenaway's classic The Cook The Thief, His Wife and her Lover plus a selection of food shorts by Birmingham film makers.
Elizabeth Telfer taught in the Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow from 1963 until her retirement in 2001. Her publications include Food for Thought (Routledge,1996) which discussed connections between food and a number of central topics in philosophy, the scope and limits of morality, the doctrine of higher and lower pleasures, the nature of art, our moral relationship to animals, the nature of moral virtues (among which are hospitableness and temperance). Her contribution to ‘Consuming Passions' will develop some of these themes further, particularly in relation to the role of food and eating in social life.
Richard Gough is Artistic Director of the Centre for Performance Research (CPR), Professor of Theatre & Performance in the Department of Theatre, Film and Television Studies at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and General Editor of Performance Research (The Journal of Performance Arts published quarterly by Routledge, Taylor & Francis), He was founding President (1997-2001) of Performance Studies international (PSi) and he has curated and organized numerous conference and workshops over the last 30 years as well as directing and lecturing internationally. He is specifically interested in food in performance art and will discuss his own ‘Last Supper' series as well as other food-related work.
Dr. Martin Caraher is Reader in food and health policy at the dept of Health Management and Food Policy at City University, London. He completed his masters and doctorate in London, since 1990 he has been working with Tim Lang on aspects of food policy. He has worked extensively on issues related to food poverty, cooking skills, local sustainable food supplies, the role of markets and co-ops in promoting health, farmers markets, food deserts & food access, retail concentration and globalisation. He has also worked for the UK Dept of Health, the World Health Organization (Europe) on school feeding programmes in Latvia and for the World Bank on school food in Lesotho. Among his recent publications is an article with John Coveney, Associate Prof from Flinders University on global aspects of food policy.
This event was chaired by Anna Douglas. Originally trained in Art History, Anna Douglas has pursued a career as an independent curator, and in cultural policy. Anna has published on a broad range of subjects including feminist theory, video art, contemporary architecture; and in 2006 edited three books exploring public art and contemporary fine art practice, with artists Lucy and Jorge Orta, Public Works, and Richard Woods, for IXIA/Article Press.
Anna is currently touring ‘Alchemy', a major exhibition of cameraless photography (prepared with Katy Barron, Purdy Hicks Gallery, London); and in 2005 curated the exhibition ‘Motion at the Edge', a dialogue between dance, choreography, video and performance art. In addition to her curatorial activity, Anna leads on strategic policy development for Photography and New Media for the Arts Council of England's West Midlands region. Since an early age, she has had an abiding and, often for her family, infuriating interest in good food.